In the northern part of the city, just 5 km from the centre, there is the Forest Park of Culture and Recreation - Myślęcinek. One of the largest recreational complexes in Poland it covers an area of 830 ha, of which nearly 500 ha are forest areas hat include hundred year old specimens of deciduous trees.
It is an area of very special natural, recreational and educational qualities.
Myślęcinek owes its attractiveness not only to natural conditions, but also to excellent transport links with the centre of Bydgoszcz; public transport buses: 84 and 52, and tram lines No. 1, 2 and 10. We can visit the park by car by going over the bridge at the end of Gdańska St., past the Bydgoszcz City Stadium “Zawisza”
Moving around the park is possible due to the services of vehicle stylised to look like an old train There used to be a very rare in Poland, Park Railway narrow-gauge train in Myślęcinek, unfortunately it burnt a few years ago. However now we can still enjoy a ride around the park thanks to this stylised for the train vehicle.
Loop around the park begins near the bus stop (lines 52, 84), next to the ZOO entrance. All journey takes around 35-40 minutes. Price for children is 3zł, adults pay 5zł and children under the age of 3 go free.
Nearby, youngsters can have some fun at the Amusement Park with merry-go-rounds, slides, cabinets of mirrors, an inflatable palace, autodrome, mountain railway and Chinese plastic pool filled with balls.
You cannot miss the ZOO of Bydgoszcz. The Polish Fauna Garden, established in 1978, is the only one in Poland and quite unique In Europe which has the status of a specialized fauna garden. On the area of 14 hectares there are around 1000 animals representing species of Polish vertebrates, of which 62 are under total protection, as well as 92 exotic species. You can see here, for example, bisons, moose, brown bears, wolves, lynxes, wild cats, raccoon dogs, martens, badgers and many species of native birds. Kids are particularly invited to the Children's Zoo. The MINI-ZOO gives children the opportunity to have some direct contact with the inhabitants of the garden - species which do not endanger the safety of visitors - mainly farm animals and ornamental birds. Worth seeing is also newly opened Aquarium and Terrarium, moreover, you can visit specially prepared room with numerous species of butterflies.
The views in the park are splendid. Numerous water reservoirs in the valley of the Stream of Myślęcinek encourage fans of fishing. Then you should go past the Horse Riding Centre with stables with stalls for 50 horses, a carriage house and indoor riding facilities. A hippodrome enables the organization of numerous horse related competitions and events; cart riding, jumping, horse riding shows, riding excursions and St. Hubert’s Festival – fox chase combined with a feast by the fire. The centre also organizes rides and, in winter, sleigh rides and hippotherapy for people with disabilities. Children and young people enjoy day camps, combined with riding. Accommodation and catering facilities are provided by the nearby "Palace" hotel.
Encouraged by the beauty of the surrounding landscape young artists have decided to work outdoors. Their sculptures can be admired throughout the park.
At the same time a diversified terrain, with many hilly slopes and a specially prepared skiing trail, promotes winter sports. The most popular place in winter is an illuminated artificial snow slope with a downhill trail of 170 m, a ski lift and a sport equipment rental establishment. Lessons of skiing are provided here by licenced ski instructors, as well as snowboarders. More and more popular is snow tubing – sliding from the hill’s top on special large pontoons, and snow painting - painting on the snow. Sports and leisure facilities include an ice skating rink with a skate’s rental (open in winter).
On the area the Year-round Sports and Recreation Centre there is a climbing wall and a rental of bikes, roller skates and skateboards. There is also a football pitch and volleyball, basketball and tennis courts. Youth definitely enjoys visits to the skatepark. Additionally, Myślęcinek has one of the best in Poland tracks for extreme downhill biking, and a golf course that boasts of having the most scenic location in Poland!
Moving along we will see the inhabitants’ favourite walking place– the Botanical Garden, which besides its recreational functions, primarily serves for educational purposes. Spread over 60 hectares it popularises various species of trees, shrubs, flowers - now 820, including 460 naturally occurring in the environment. A very spectacular place in the garden is its alpinarium, with a mountain stream, waterfall and a small lake. It presents the alpine flora that is typical for mountain areas, not only Polish, but also throughout Europe, North America and Asia. It includes generic clusters of plants, such as places of flourishing cherry, apple and magnolia trees, and complexes of plants that are thematically related, e.g. Biblical plants and a butterfly garden with plants that attract insects. A section of the garden has a botanical trail for the blind and visually impaired. It enables learning and recognition through direct touch of individual specimens, which also have labels in Braille.
Another place that educates visitors about an important role of protecting the environment is the Kujawsko-Pomorskie Centre for Ecological Education. The Centre plays a significant role in the shaping of pro-ecological attitudes among the inhabitants of Bydgoszcz. Its actions are implemented through the creation of educational trails, numerous workshops, conferences and film shows.
Myślęcinek is not just “green lungs” for Bydgoszcz, but a place that hosts picnics, festivals, concerts and competitions e.g. the annual May picnics, Spring Welcome and Farewell events, competitions for the Cup of the Polish Association of Dog Sledding Sports, Polish Championships…, and even IAAF World Cross Country Championships.